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By Guest
Posts: 1

Posted on: November 24, 2008 at 5:16PM

Funchal, the picturesque capital city on the coast of the Portuguese Island of Madeira, is characterized by narrow streets, quaint back alleys, small shops, and ocean front promenades. Terraced volcanic hills dressed in white stucco and red tile thrust dramatically upward from the sun-drenched coast and disappear into gray mist. Situated in a quiet section of the city a block from the ocean is the Quinta Da Penha De Franca, a charming hotel that blends perfectly into the traditional landscape. Spacious rooms surround a flower draped courtyard and cobblestone pathways lead to a palm-lined grove. Bordering the courtyard is an enchanting restaurant serving a variety of delectable local and Continental favorites. The proprietor, an erudite, gracious host and son of the founder is complemented by a professional staff of career employees. Madeira has much to offer and my wife and I attempted to see and do as much as we could in the week we were there. We combed the small shops for embroidery, baskets, and wine; spent a day in the botanical wonderland of Monte Palace Tropical Gardens; ventured up the coast to fishing villages; and bravely maneuvered a rental car through steep hills on narrow, one lane roads that run along lethally steep escarpments. Returning to the hotel, we relaxed on the veranda adjoining our room or strolled through the grove. Despite trying a number of recommended restaurants, dinner at the hotel on an open patio was the most enjoyable. We will return to Madeira, one of the few remaining subtropical locations that is reasonably priced and not overrun with visitors. But we will stay for two weeks, one to continue exploring the fascinating attractions of the island and the other for pure relaxation at the Penha De Franca. report a problem

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